Only one week of my marathon training programme remains. Recovery from last Monday's marathon paced "training run" went quite well with a slow recovery 6 mile run on grass on Tuesday. In fact most of my running this week has been on grass with heavy legs for a few days but no niggles or DOMs.
The last two specific sessions of the programme are a 10 to 12 mile long run, 8 days out (Friday) and 2 x 1 mile @ 10k pace, 6 days out (today). I deferred Friday's "long run" until Satuday morning so that I could join the 7:30 pace Club run, only to show up half an hour late. I ran the route in reverse so as to meet up with the group and return with them. The pace was a little faster than planned, hitting 7:13 average over 12.28 miles on a beautiful sunny morning.
I returned to the grass this evening for my last speed session - 1 mile warmup followed by 4 x 30 second strides, 2 x 1 mile @ 10k pace and 1 mile warmdown. I assume the purpose of the session is to get a little speed in my legs in the final build up, without taxing them too much and ensure they are fully recovered and fresh for Saturday's race. I selected 6:00 pace for the mile repeats, which came in in 5:56/57 with a 2:30 slow jog recovery in between. The effort felt closer to 5k than 10k pace, but i'm not too concerned.
The last 5 days of the programme consist of 13 miles of running over 4 easy sessions, 2 of which have 4 x 100m @ 5k pace thrown in, just to keep a bit of zip in the legs. The work is done all I have to do now is resist the temptation to do something stupid. To be quite honest I have no expectations going into Saturday's marathon, just show up and run a smart race and adjust my plan for the two unknowns -
(i) the weather - with a noon start and the recent spell of sunny weather it could be a bit warm out there and
(ii) recovery from the Cork City Marathon - while my legs and body feel pretty good going into the last week, I will not know how well recovered I actually am until I hit mile 20, particularly if the sun does come out to play.
I've attempted to breakdown my splits for last Monday's marathon. The first half in 1:29:43 was at a farily predictable pace of 6:51. The second half in 1:26:19 was covered in an average pace of 6:35 (16 seconds per mile faster) giving an overall average pace of 6:43, only 3 seconds per mile slower than my "training " marathon pace.
My fastest miles from 13.1 (1:29:43) to 20 (2:14:23) were at an average pace of 6:29, slowing to an average of 6:42 over the final 10k, although the last 2 miles were slower as I remember looking at my pace band at the 40K and 25 mile marks and concluding that I was 4 minutes ahead of 3 hour pace, which is where I finished - suggesting that the last mile or 2 were at 3 hour pace (6:52) - still not a bad fade. The big unknown however is how bad the fade would have been had I "raced" the entire distance - could I have achieved the sub 2:55 as Thomas suggests or would an opening 1:27 half have been enough to kill my pace over the closing 10k. We'll never know.
|3.5 Mile In - Still Comfortable|
|Mile 26 - Nearly There (Courtesy of PacePix.com)|
I am now 3 months into my new "diet" and my weight has continued to drop with apparently obvious advantages - with 2 PBs under my belt, one of which came out of the blue. My weight has fluctuated day to day and there have been longer spells of up to a week where I have gained weight, particularly the week before the Cork Marathon where my average weight climbed from 76.1 kg (167.8 lbs) to 76.8 (169.3 Lbs) - I weighed in at 77.5 kg (170.9 lbs) on marathon morning, which I partly put down to taking on more carbs, which promotes more water retention for a well hydrated body. Overall I have lost 7.2 kg (16 lbs) in 12 weeks but would expect it to taper off from here on in. However I will continue with the lifestyle as it is quite easy to follow (only one rule) and see where it takes me.
Weekly Mileage - 65 Miles
Average Weight - 76.4 Kg.
RHR - 39